I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Reasons It's Better To Grow My Own  RSS feed

 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 993
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I have plenty of my own reasons for wanting to grow my own food and plants, but talking around, I'm learning that other people have different reasons. There's surely not one all encompassing reason!

What's yours?
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1424
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I do it so that I know with certainty what is in the food I am eating, that it's -cide free, the food tastes better and is fresher, and because I enjoy it.  Additionally, it appeals to the prepper in me that I have a means of feeding myself if other sources of food are no longer available.  My diet might not be as varied, but with my chickens and my gardens, I could survive.
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 802
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I do it to have clean food that is cheaper and unavailable elsewhere (store, market, etc).  I also grow large amounts of certain things to can/preserve for the winter.  I like the self sufficiency angle and the nutritionally dense angle as well.  Lastly I sell a bit at a fortnightly small farmer's market.  I really like that because I can plant a bunch and sell some one week, can/dry the bounty the next.

For instance, there are potato farms in my area.  If I went there on the "pick for the food pantry" day, by volunteering I could go home with a bucket of free potatoes.  But they are likely herbicided to kill the vines just prior to harvest.  Plus the other chemicals applied during the year make them less than enticing.  I can buy organic from the store but that's costly.  And I don't know where I could get purple fingerlings around here. 
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3161
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Su Ba, great thread.

We grow our own foods so we have the things we like to eat that taste better than any we can buy.
We like to sit in the soil that is the lap of the earth mother and nurture those wonderful plants so they grow strong, are healthy and thus provide us with all the nutrition the plants were meant to provide us.
We do the same with those animals we raise to become our meat, they get to live a great life with no stresses, plenty of food they like to eat and all the comforts they desire to have.
Wolf mentions that we treat our "crop" animals the way we treat our dogs, but with the knowledge that those animals will give their life for our food needs.

Nutrition is our main reason for farming at all. When you compare the tastes of "store bought" foods to those we grow, there is no comparison.
A tomato should taste like a tomato, not watered down pinkish, gritty pulp.
We have given many vegetables and fruits to friends and people in need, all of them talk about how delicious what we gave them was.

If you get the nutrition you have better health.

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
master steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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For me it's money and taste . I don't aim for 100% but I hope to get to 75 , 80 % eventually both by barter and directly growing  Nor do I seek to spend time trying to sell stuff.
Doing anything 100% is always difficult
Taste for me is freshness , goodness and not having any toxic gick .
Money is that I don't buy stuff nor do I work to get money to buy stuff I can use my money for other stuff

David
 
James Freyr
pollinator
Posts: 513
Location: Middle Tennessee
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I do it for the same reasons my peers mentioned, nutrition. The human body makes about 200 billion new cells every day, and it does that with the food we eat. I enjoy planting a seed and seeing life come forth and nurturing that plant into a robust healthy specimen. It's fun to add minerals to a soil and watch plant diseases subside or disappear altogether. Plus I like being outdoors and having my hands in the soil listening the songbirds sing. There's something satisfying about going out to the garden to get ingredients for the dinner my wife is preparing.
 
Lindsey Jane
Posts: 29
Location: Kitsap Penninsula, WA
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I grow our food because I like feeling powerful.
When I pull a big ole' ox heart carrot out of the ground or weigh a tomato in at over a pound, I feel powerful. I eat the good food and also feel powerful. I feed my child yummy food from our garden and feel powerful. It's so nutty and intoxicating.
It costs less in our neck of the woods to rely on the grocery store for everything - if one were a frugal shopper and went without wine and other fun things (who would do that?!?) But shopping makes me feel weak and reliant. (I still have to shop for things - we can't grow all the things here!)
Nutrition, yes. For sure. Also, I like growing food because I hate working out and don't want to be unhealthy. I garden, I huff and puff, I burn calories and I pull food out of the bit of earth we are on and feel powerful and healthy.
We have found a good mix of growing staple vegetable and fruits and have a respectable orchard and nut tree alley that will help out in later years (our farm is new in the last 2 years.)
That powerful feeling also accompanies butchering day, putting up wood for the winter, sewing my summer dresses and being able to sit in our pasture and look at crickets for 30 minutes in the sun.
(Interestingly it does NOT accompany the scorching pain in my lower back after stacking 2 cords of firewood, but oh, well. They can't all be zingers.)
 
chip sanft
pollinator
Posts: 434
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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I do it because it's my nature.

Nothing I do seems more natural -- more inevitable -- to me than gardening, with the single possible exception of reading.

I like that I can grow things that are free of pesticides and man-made fertilizers, but it's an outgrowth of doing something dear to me already. Kale and chard and okra etc. etc. make me happy when I take care of them and they feed me. Squash, too. And tomatoes, and ...
 
Jarret Hynd
Posts: 109
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Several of the same reasons others have mentioned, and likely it can be summed up as efficiency in how I live, but I'll list them anyways.

By growing my own, I:

-avoid buying overpriced and/or low quality food, meaning my dollar goes further
-don't have to travel several KM to get food
-don't have to wonder how safe my food is
-get more nutrients per pound because the way food is grown in a garden is many times better than the industry standards. This means I don't over-eat as much, in my experience anyways.
-gain the great skill of gardening, which leads to many other homestead-type skills (all of which are underrated)
-can be an example in my community, and provide surplus to the neighbours around me, hopefully inspiring them to do the same.
-can be outside in nature while doing meaningful work, instead of needing to go to a gym to do a work-out which mostly only carries the reason of vanity.
-am able to be more aware. I can see what the sky is doing and notice how the wind is moving which gives an accurate weather prediction without having to listen to the news, and my mind is more free as I no longer have to go to stores designed to get my mind to think about what to "buy buy buy"
-am able to gain appreciation for life. I told my sister the other day who "eats healthy" that everytime she throws away a pepper, that's 100 days gone and all the resources that went into getting that to a store.
-watch my garden grow and continually get better each year, and because of that observation I am able to see how I've grown with it over the years. It's a relationship I can't really describe, but it's a commitment to being part of something bigger than yourself. 

(I'm sure I'll have more reasons next year)

Ultimately, all these reasons add up to my time being spent in the best ways possible so I can live a better life. That's why I grow my own.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 165
Location: Montana
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I have a prepper urge to try growing my all my own food sometime. I want to keep the seed I need on hand for that.

Mostly though it's that the crop diversity of vegetable, grain, and herbs is amazing and as a botanist I love plants.

So mostly to be honest I am a tinkerer who basically just wants to frolic in a garden with large amounts of genetic diversity and save a lot of seeds.

Frolicking is defined as pulling endless canada thistle right?

Also sometimes as a side benefit it results in large amounts of tomatoes and squash and I can try making my own pizza sauce from the former and pie all winter from the latter.
 
Hester Winterbourne
Posts: 222
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b)
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I like the connection to nature and the circle of life.  I don't have a lot of growing space or time to work it, so I grow a variety of stuff and there is usually a handful of something to eat and some interesting weed or fungus or insect to look at.  I don't get why the (typically) older blokes up the allotment do what they do, slogging away at rows of carrots and leeks and runner beans.  I think they grow their own to get away from their wives!
 
s. ayalp
Posts: 48
Location: istanbul - turkey
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I need to feel I am alive!
By alive I mean:
Couple of years ago I was observing how wonderfully soil was covered with radish. Even though they were meant to break apart clay, I pulled couple of them and brought back home. That salad! That radish! Or in meme culture "DAT RADISH!" Seriously that was, well you know what I mean here if you ever tasted a nutrient dense food after a long period of time. It feels right, it tastes right, it is right. Just a small bite is enough, the taste lasts for hours, and you don't feel hungry at all. It was definitely one of the greatest shocks of my entire life.
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 314
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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I like to grow things that aren't available to buy- colourful corn, purple carrots, spaghetti squash- all very difficult to buy here!

I like the idea of providing for myself, but in honesty I think I spend more money on growing my own than I would do on buying produce. However i enjoy it- planting a seed and a few months later harvesting courgettes is amazing! Its good exercise too! And I really enjoy being outside, experiencing the seasons and watching them change.

And I love building things- a garden and 'garden systems' give me opportunity to design and build things! Chicken coops, mealworm farms, raised beds, greenhouses- I like to build things!
 
Wes Hunter
Posts: 393
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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As in the sister thread, I'll stretch the verb "grow" to include livestock.  My primary, or at least initial, reason for growing my own is to get the kind of food I want to eat but which is unavailable or at least difficult to source elsewhere.

As an example, I can't go to the farmers market and buy a free-range, pasture-raised, non-GMO, soy-free heritage breed table chicken.  So I raise them (and make them available for others who may want them also).

There are ancillary benefits, but the ability to have the kind of food we want to eat is paramount.

For other items, it's an economic decision.  I'm not a great gardener, and while I mostly enjoy it there are plenty of other things I'd rather do.  (I enjoy the planning, the planting, and the harvesting.  It's the tending that gets me, and not yet having a good system in place means the tending bit becomes drudgery.  That ought to change soon.)  There are farmers that I know and trust, and I'd be perfectly content to purchase from them, knowing how they care for their land and their crops, but it's pricey.  When I can buy a pound of carrots for $5 or a packet of carrot seed for $2, it's hard to justify the former option.
 
Skandi Rogers
Posts: 82
Location: Denmark 57N
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Why? Well because I enjoy gardening, it's satisfying
It's cheaper, here my seeds (for the entire garden 41 types) for last year cost the same as buying ONE bag of carrots or onions a week for the year.
I also like having stores it makes me feel cosy, I just bottled 12 jars of pears today, and I'm drying the rest from that tree.
It makes you think, this month it was; What do I do with 30kg of cucumbers? I have enough pickles and burger relish for two years now (stirfry is the answer, they are unbelieveably good in it!)
And I've been kind of practicing for three years, next year I'm selling vegetables for the 20 week season.

For the Eggs, well it's quality, my birds get a organic (Pig) concentrate feed mixed with local non organic barley, they also free range, and I mean free they have no fence all summer. So their eggs taste and look very different.
For the meat We raise muscovy ducks, they are very easy, also freerange with the chickens and provide a meat that when cooked we cannot tell apart from beef, and they are a tiny bit cheaper to raise than to buy.
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 128
Location: SF Bay Area
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To improve my mental health, has been a big reason for me. This is also a reason why living in a climate that I can go outside pretty much everyday has been so important for me. My life has not be easy, let's say. I realize most people's lives aren't easy, but there are levels.

It's been very important for me to get out of my head, and touch the earth. To feel grounded and connected. to the earth, to my food, to what's real. Sorry for going all woo-woo on you.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1802
Location: Zone 6b
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Hands in dirt and potmix in my hair part. Great stuff.

Weeding is a good stress reliever for me. Though I work hard not to have to.

Fresher, and many varieties that would not survive shipping (especially tomatoes) right there for me fresh and ripe. I know what was put on them, what they grew in, and there's nothing like truly ripe collected versus the cardboard that looks pretty at the store...

I had my quince snarl really put the fruit on this year. Someone showed up at my door the other day and wanted to buy some. I had them hold the pail and I picked (no issues with how the tree and suckerbushes it grew were treated) and they took two full to top 5 gallon pails. It left me a goodly 'branch' left, which is what I wanted off the crop, and after they left I picked my share. They about fell over to find it was truly natural, no sprays, no lawn fertilizers, nothing. Just plain natural tree (and more) that grew and drank mostly rain water and put out some really great tasting fruit. I also took them on tour of the peppers and they would tell everyone they knew about my better fresher nicer produce. (now if things only cooperate to give me a crop).

Growing my own, difference between that and the market garden, is I purposely grow more than I can use, and others will help me pay the bills to produce it. Some things I can't possibly grow enough for my own use, so I have some for a 'fresh in season' crop that I can manage and enjoy, and rely on other ways to get my full year supply. But ooh, home grown, nothing will beat it. Just get used to 'blems' that eat fine but would never sell, I plant more for the bugs. Just wish I could teach them to eat up one fruit instead of sampling six....
 
I will suppress my every urge. But not this shameless plug:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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